Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And We Are Merely But Players

Acting is a trippy thing. It's the chance to be someone else. To feel their pain, their sorrow, to love their women, to laugh at their jokes. Also it's a chance to bring to life another person. To their dreams, to their fears. To me, that's always been the allure.

It's also hard as hell. Talented actors can do it easily. Amateur shmucks like myself find their own voice doing the reasoning some of the times and that is wrong. It's like having a conversation through a translator. The words have to first go through your own head, and then you translate it into what the character says and how the character would say it. Or rather, how you think the character would say it. Real actors know the language.

As complex as that is, it gets so much easier when you have good co-actors. Nothing makes this process better than having a talented player to play off of. Use their emotions and react. And then it becomes a friendly game of table tennis (at least, when it works). There's nothing like it, that synergy.

To see it all come together is a different experience when you do it from the other side of the audience. I had my first crack at it last term during Kuhla Asman (MICA's in house theater event) in a quirky little play called "Melange" (which, before you ask, was about the strangeness of romantic relationships).

I learned the sheer nervousness before the act. I got jitters when I looked out at the audience. I wondered if we could pull it off. I wondered if they'd understand or would we be greeted with raised eyebrows. I started forgetting my lines.

And then there is this moment, this magical moment, when you know that they are getting it. They are receptive. Suddenly they laugh at a part you didn't expect them to. And it's adrenaline. Suddenly you don't want it to end, you want to carry on all night. It's a brilliant high.

I've been bitten by the acting bug again. One of the best parts of putting on a production is the rehearsals  You'll rarely laugh harder. The whole thing, when done for love of the art and for putting on a show, is a fantastic experience. I can't wait for Khula Asman 2 to start.

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